Inca Dinka Do

Continuing my report on our Field Guides’ Birds and Wines of Chile and Argentina trip in February, 2024.

After flying from Argentina to Chile, we arrived in our hotel in the city of Viña del Mar.  We got into our room well after 10 PM and found we had this seaside view of the the city and nearby Valparaiso right on the coast.


The next morning I went directly to breakfast (…must have coffee…) but Karen wanted to check out the deck.  She came back all enthused about the Inca Terns she saw there.  I pretty much thought, “A tern’s a tern”.  Usually a sleek, white, gull-like bird – Common Tern, Forster’s Tern, Caspian tern – they’re all the same, right?   We hurried out of breakfast right to the van so I didn’t get down to the deck that morning, but the next day I went straight to the deck, where I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Inca Tern was a beautiful black bird with a white mustache and there were lots of them all around.  One was perched right on the wall that surrounded the deck from the ocean below.


What a spectacular-looking bird!  That long, flowing mustache really makes it look very elegant-looking! They were nesting in holes on the break-wall extending away from the deck so we saw several of them gathering there.


The Inca Terns gathering around our hotel would catch small sardines in the sea and then return to their roost to feed their young.  This one awaits its young to approach.  I’ll share a series of pics showing the feeding process soon.


Since the hotel’s deck jutted out over the sea many birds were flying by and I couldn’t resist taking some shots of the Inca Terns as they glided past.



I was so glad Karen encouraged me to get some close looks of these elegant-looking Inca Terns!   Coincidentally we took the grandkids to the Brookfield Zoo soon after we returned from Chile.  Going through the penguin enclosure birds were flying overhead.  You guessed it, they were Inca Terns!


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Your Inca Tern pics are awesome! I should have gone back later in the a.m. Such a great bird! Nothing else like it.